Jesurgislac’s Journal

June 1, 2010

Why doesn’t this surprise me?

Gerard Nadal, the pro-lifer who showed up on my radar a week ago when he argued that (a) it was wrong for a Catholic hospital to perform a life-saving abortion; (b) it would have been better to let a pregnant woman die than perform an abortion anyway; turns out to be the kind of pro-lifer who prefers a high abortion rate to the free provision of contraception.

He doesn’t like the idea of abortions being safely and legally provided, nor does he care for organisations which provide free health care to women and children in developing countries. Explicitly, he’s against Marie Stopes International for its provision of:

In 2008 alone, MSI provided over six million people in 42 countries with high quality health services, including family planning; safe abortion & post-abortion care; maternal & child health care including safe delivery and obstetrics; diagnosis & treatment of sexually transmitted infections; and HIV/AIDS prevention. Millions of people die unnecessarily each year from health conditions that could be prevented or treated at low cost because they do not have access to basic sexual and reproductive health services. Marie Stopes International is working to change that.

Nor is he the least ashamed to say so, right out on a public blog: he’s for women dying. Women in the US, if they make the mistake of going to a Catholic hospital where the local Bishop has recently made clear that pregnant women must be left to die if their pregnancy is killing them: women in undeveloped countries, if their only resource is humanitarian agencies like Marie Stopes.

In a way, Catherine Palmer and Gerard Nadal are the Two-Face of the Gotham villainy that is the pro-life movement. Catherine Palmer, who wrote the very sweet post that was the subject of my last rant, is all about saving the fetuses: she doesn’t want to look at denying women health care and basic human rights (and I imagine, never will: she’s also the only woman, and the newest, posting at Ethika Politika.) Gerard Nadal as consistently promotes the openly-misogynist pro-life cause: the belief that women do not deserve to live unless they can be forced to bear children, that no organisation that prioritises women’s health and welfare deserves to exist.

But, whichever face was turned towards you: Two-Face was always dangerously insane.


  1. […] generally run blogs that do not accept dissenting viewpoints. (They’re like gay marriage opponents in that way.) But for pro-lifers, the “dissenting […]

    Pingback by Why is abortion like setting fire to kittens? « Jesurgislac’s Journal — June 27, 2010 @ 12:14 pm | Reply

  2. marie stopes was a eugenics supporter abortion was started by the eugenics program it started with forced steralization then birth control then it expanded to killing babies later on abortion clinics are placed in minority neighborhoods was all part of the eugenics movement. do research oln marie stopes and eugenics

    Comment by chris — July 3, 2010 @ 10:45 pm | Reply

    • marie stopes was a eugenics supporter

      So was Jean Webster, Alexander Graham Bell, and Theodore Roosevelt. Anyone at all familiar with the history of eugenics in the US and the UK at this time would know that there was a period during which eugenics was mainstream science, and had far more terrible applications – 20,000 sterilizations were carried out in California alone – than advocacy of birth control. Pro-lifers generally know only that eugenics is now a discredited science (and rightly so) and cherry pick quotes in an ignorant attempt to discredit early supporters of birth control and family planning.

      Pro-lifers, not feminists, are the ideological heirs of the most racist and controlling eugenics programs.

      abortion was started by the eugenics program

      Abortion is at least two thousand years older than the 19th century.

      it started with forced steralization

      Yes. Conservatives very like the pro-lifers of today regarded women as sub-human, not entitled to choose for themselves when, and how many children to have. One of the ways in which a woman could find herself sterilized was if she was found to be a “moral imbecile” by getting pregnant without being married – a very pro-life sentiment! Forcible sterilizations with government funding took place in the thousands all across the US.

      By contrast, the pro-birth control movement, of which the pro-choice movement is the heir, was always supportive of women’s choice and of improving women’s and children’s lives – which pro-lifers have always been, at best, indifferent to.

      abortion clinics are placed in minority neighborhoods

      Planned Parenthood, the most successful abortion prevention service in the US, targets its clinics to poor neighborhoods. That these tend to be minority neighborhoods is about the US’s legacy of racism. By contrast, pro-lifers frequently overlap with the racist “demographic winter” movement, which bemoans how few white babies are getting born…

      do research on marie stopes and eugenics

      You certainly need to, but I somehow doubt you ever will…

      Comment by jesurgislac — July 3, 2010 @ 11:58 pm | Reply

    Stopes was a prominent campaigner for the implementation of policies inspired by eugenics, then not a discredited science. In her Radiant Motherhood (1920) she called for the “sterilisation of those totally unfit for parenthood [to] be made an immediate possibility, indeed made compulsory.”

    She contributed a chapter manifesto to, The Control of Parenthood (1920), comprising a sort of manifesto for her circle of Eugenicists, arguing for a “utopia” to be achieved through “racial purification”:

    Comment by chris — July 3, 2010 @ 10:50 pm | Reply

  4. Also-After her son Harry married a myopic woman, Stopes cut him out of her will

    Comment by chris — July 3, 2010 @ 11:06 pm | Reply

  5. Chris, Margaret Sanger is also an eugenicist, but that some within the birth control movements hold eugenicist views does not necessarily entail that the pro-choice movement is an eugenics conspiracy targeting minorities. Eugenics is highly anti-choice; White German women during Nazi time were forbidden abortion, they are COERCED into giving birth for the sake of the “Aryan” breed.

    About Planned Parenthood clinics positioning themselves in minorities neighbourhood. Here is the explanation:

    Thanks to institutional racism, Black people faced many discriminations in careers, education, and consequently live in poverty, making it hard to sustain themselves, let alone any children they may give birth too. Lack of education, rape, abuse results in Black women having unwanted pregnancy. Poverty make pregnancy even harder for Black women, not to mention that unwanted pregnancy may also threatened their already unstable career. They need help but they don’t get anything.

    “As I recall back in the 1980’s, Reagan and the rest of the Moral Majority bemoaned the “fact” that black women with large broods of kids were welfare queens living undeservedly large — driving Cadillacs and loading up shopping carts with steaks — off the largesse of the poor white male whose hard-earned paycheck could barely afford to buy Hamburger Helper.

    These same neocons during the Reagan and Bush I regime also pushed for policies such as eliminating CETA, a Great Society program that placed the disenfranchised and poor (women and minorities) in subsidized jobs from which they spring-boarded into middle class careers.

    Then these same hypocrites brought us the draconian Welfare Reform Act of 1996, modeled after Catholic “pro-life” Wisconsin governor Tommy Thompson’s W-2 program which targeted poor single mothers and their children for punishment (but did nothing to punish the fathers who helped make those babies). But were these “pro-life” mother-muggers ashamed? Hell no! They forced poor women who had just given birth to take the first menial minimum wage job offered — regardless if the woman suffered any long-term negative health impacts directly caused by pregnancy and giving birth that affected her ability to get and keep a job.

    The whole anti-abortion/anti-contraception movement is really an anti-woman movement: it’s about greedy, authoritarian rich white males maintaining unfair advantages through the perpetuation of a system of unearned privilege by “putting women back in their place” — barred from advanced education, barred from meaningful careers, poor and having to take abuse from abusive, controlling selfish men for daily bread with NO way out.”

    Jacqueline S. Homan from

    Ironically, “pro-life” aren’t at all advocating welfare, which of course provide Black women an incentive to keep their children. They’re against that.

    I quote from a “pro-life” website:

    “many centers are acknowledging frustration over the fact that their ministries are becoming more social welfare agencies than cutting-edge forces to reduce abortion.” Thomas A. Glessner

    Is this the POLITICS OF CRUELTY? Abortion and welfare provide at least a way out for Black women, and you “pro-lifers” are all against them.

    Comment by The Unrepentant Iconocclast — January 14, 2011 @ 8:00 pm | Reply

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